2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills QB Manuel gets crash course in facing blitz

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-25 17:57

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Whether it's handling opposing pass rushers on the field, and questions off it, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is suddenly having a hard time escaping the blitz.

Since spending much of last weekend flat on his back, Manuel was back on his feet Wednesday, feeling better prepared in facing pressure after spending the past two days working on it in practice.

The extra work became necessary in light of Manuel's struggles in a 27-20 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. When he wasn't being sacked eight times, Manuel was sailing desperation passes out of bounds.

``Yeah, I'm a lot more prepared,'' Manuel said. ``I learned a lot from that game and the mistakes I made.''

The Bills' defense went after him in practice Wednesday. And Manuel spent part of his day off Tuesday working on his own in making quick, precise throws downfield.

The only thing missing was a 250-pound linebacker in his face.

``No, we didn't have that,'' Manuel said with a laugh. ``We couldn't simulate that one. But it was the best we could.''

Manuel is going to have to do much better with the Bills (1-2) preparing to face another attacking style defense on Sunday, when they host the Baltimore Ravens (2-1).

Against the Jets, Manuel at times looked rattled in completing 19 of 42 attempts for 243 yards and a touchdown. And he was particularly bad in third- or fourth-down situations.

Though he hit tight end Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown pass on third-and-6, Manuel was otherwise dreadful. On third or fourth down, he went 3 of 14 for 55 yards passing and was sacked twice.

``I felt like I should've been more composed,'' Manuel said. ``When they're bringing the house at you, it's a tough thing to deal with. But nonetheless, you have to deal with it. It's just a part of maturing in the position.''

Until that happens, he understands opposing defenses are going to take the same approach against him.

``I'm sure a lot more teams are going to try to amp it up a little bit, too,'' he said. ``So I think the biggest thing is showing that you can handle it, and that's when they'll stop doing the blitzes.''

Manuel's struggles came a week after he showed signs of his potential by rallying the Bills to a last-second 24-23 win over Carolina.

In taking a big step back against the Jets, Manuel showed the tell-tale signs of inconsistency encountered by most NFL rookies. And that's raised concerns among Bills players as to how long it might take Manuel to find his footing against the blitz.

``It's hard to say,'' center Eric Wood said. ``I think he'll rebound, though. Just working with him for the past few months, I think every time a challenge is presented, he's kind of stepped up.''

Running back C.J. Spiller offered a mixed response Wednesday.

He credited Manuel for having poise, but also added: ``We just have to do a better job of just calming him down.''

Not all of the blame should land on Manuel, because the Bills are experiencing difficulty maintaining drives whether they're running or passing.

Buffalo has converted just 14 of 45 third down chances. And more often than not, that's been the result of having difficulty gaining yards on first and second down.

Manuel's inconsistencies have come as no surprise to Jim Kelly, the Bills Hall of Fame quarterback.

``He's getting there. He's had some tough days, but what rookie hasn't?'' Kelly said.

``We all hope he'll turn out to be the quarterback we've been praying for,'' Kelly added. ``Great kid. Great work ethic. Time will only tell. But I'm one guy who is pulling for EJ Manuel.''

NOTES: Kelly spoke while attending a ceremony at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum honoring late teammate, center Kent Hull. ... CB Leodis McKelvin (right hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, and his status is uncertain for Sunday. ... DT Kyle Williams (right Achilles tendon), DE Mario Williams (left ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and RG Kraig Urbik (right knee) also did not practice but are expected to play.

---

AP Sports Writer David Brandt contributed from Jackson, Miss.

---

NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Andre JohnsonJul 30 12:33p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, July 30. Head coach Bill O'Brien has said the team is being cautious with Johnson.

Joe LooneyJul 30 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers OG Joe Looney has been working with the first-team offense at guard in place of OG Alex Boone and has looked good during practices.

Allen RobinsonJul 30 11:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WRs Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson have looked comfortable and consistent in the early part of training camp, according to John Oehser.

Nate GarnerJul 30 11:03a

Miami Dolphins C Shelley Smith and C Nate Garner are splitting reps with the first-team offense at center Wednesday, July 30.

Clay HarborJul 30 10:53a

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will be out for a month due to the calf injury he suffered earlier in the week.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 30 10:43a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be out at least another week, although tests on his hamstring came back negative Tuesday, July 29. The [ More ]

Marquis FlowersJul 30 10:33a

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring) were activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

David WilsonJul 30 10:13a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) will sit out of practice the rest of the week and won't play in the first preseason game. He underwent tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Lardarius WebbJul 30 08:33a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) had recent examinations reveal no structural damage to his back. It's believed to be a muscular problem that will require rest and rehabilitation. [ More ]

Chris RaineyJul 30 02:13a

LB Darrin Kitchens (Bills), OT Chris Faulk (Browns), PK Jake Rogers (Browns), OT Aslam Sterling (Broncos), RB Chris Rainey (Colts), WR Gerald Ford (Dolphins), OT DeMarcus Love (Giants) and [ More ]

Ricky SappJul 30 02:03a

The Houston Texans released LB Ricky Sapp (undisclosed) from their Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 29. Sapp is free to sign with any team.

Demarcus LawrenceJul 30 01:33a

Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) suffered a broken foot Tuesday, July 29, and he will need eight to 10 weeks recovery time, according to a source.

Brandon PettigrewJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew and the other tight ends have split time between working on the offensive line and working with the pass-catching receivers and running backs catching [ More ]

Corey HilliardJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions OTs Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle appear to be getting an equal shot at the starting right tackle job. Hilliard worked with the first-team offense Monday, July [ More ]

Kevin OgletreeJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions WR Kevin Ogletree has been spent time on the top unit each of the first two days of training camp, working as the No. 3 receiver. He [ More ]

Jason HatcherJul 30 12:13a

Washington Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins said the team's signing of DE Jason Hatcher this offseason was a wakeup call that has motivated him to become a better player. 'I've [ More ]

Patrick PetersonJul 30 12:03a

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson announced via Twitter Tuesday, July 29, that he has signed a five-year contract extension worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed.

Robert MeachemJul 29 11:53p

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and OT Tavon Rooks (back) returned to practice Tuesday, July 29.

Greg ScruggsJul 29 11:43p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill, SS Jeron Johnson, DE Greg Scruggs and LB Mike Morgan are four players that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn mentioned when asked what players have [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerJul 29 11:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor worked with the first-team offense in place of RB Andre Ellington (neck) Tuesday, July 29. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com believes the move means that [ More ]

Jake MatthewsJul 29 11:23p

Atlanta Falcons OT Jake Matthews has impressed QB Matt Ryan during training camp. 'I think Jake, his size and he's very strong, very athletic,' Ryan said Tuesday, July [ More ]

Dale MossJul 29 11:03p

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent WR Dale Moss (Panthers) to a one-year deal Tuesday, July 29. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Jerrel JerniganJul 29 10:43p

New York Giants CB Charles James could make the roster as a punt returner as a result of injuries to RB David Wilson (neck) and WR Odell Beckham Jr. [ More ]

Zac StacyJul 29 10:23p

St. Louis Ram RB Tre Mason saw received some snaps with the first-team Tuesday, July 29, with RB Zac Stacy receiving a majority of the work with the first-team.

Ray McDonaldJul 29 09:53p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee), CB Tramaine Brock (knee) and DE Ray McDonald (leg) did not practice Tuesday, July 29.

O'Brien SchofieldJul 29 09:33p

Seattle Seahawks LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (stomach) missed practice Tuesday, July 29, with a stomach injury, and LB O'Brien Schofield was given a scheduled day of rest.

Bryan BulagaJul 29 08:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) performed well in one-on-one pass-blocking drills Monday, July 28, stopping a rush attempt from LB Clay Matthews and two attempts from LB Julius Peppers.

Calvin JohnsonJul 29 08:23p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is taking part in fewer reps in training camp this year than in years past and said he is trying to be smarter about [ More ]

Giorgio TavecchioJul 29 08:13p

Detroit Lions K Nate Freese and K Giorgio Tavecchio both missed field-goal attempts from nearly 50 yards during practice Tuesday, July 29, and the two remain in a competition for the starting kicking job.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group